updated 07:00 pm EDT, Tue June 21, 2011
Chrome integrates WebRTC for live media
Google is in the early stages of giving Chrome a completely add-on free approach to live audio and video chat, the company's Henrik Andreasson said this weekend. The company plans to integrate the WebRTC protocol first in its open-source Chromium project before rolling it into the regular Chrome browser. The step should give the browser both high- and low-bandwidth audio formats, iSAC and iLBC, as well as use the VP8 codec behind WebM for video.
Google would be the immediate beneficiary as it would let the company offer AV chat in Gmail without the plugin it currently needs for those who depend on Chrome or Chrome OS. Android users already have video chat with Google Talk but could reach out through the browser rather than depend on a native app.
Spreading the format to other platforms may be difficult. The MPEG-LA group is actively planning a lawsuit by looking for claims of patent violations in the WebM codecs, which the standards body believes is plagiarizing H.264. Apple and Microsoft have both shied away from native WebM support on the web citing not just the legal questions but also practical use. WebM is so far only found on the web and needs uncommon transcoding apps where H.264 is the format of choice for camcorders, video on many still image cameras, and most non-Android mobile devices. [via CNET]